Follow us on:






As sequels go, SON OF THE MASK ($28) probably should have went unmade. Where the original film was inspired lunacy, this one falls flat. SON OF THE MASK produces a few chuckles here and there, but it does not live up to the outrageous standards of its predecessor. I will give the film credit for fine visual effects and a sense of cartoon style, but moviegoers and DVD fans are plunking down their hard earned coins for entertainment value, not pretty pictures (well at least most of them).

Basically, what is wrong with the SON OF THE MASK is the fact that the script is uninspired and plays like a bad sitcom on a big movie budget. Jamie Kennedy and Alan Cumming do all they can with the material, but even their talents canít overcome having so little to work with. The plot of SON OF THE MASK is roughly a decade removed from the events of the first film and finds the mask of Loki (the ancient Norse god of mischief) in the hands of cartoonist Tim Avery (Kennedy), with the mischievous magic also being spread to his infant son and dog. Of course, chaos ensues, which is made even more chaotic by the arrival of Loki (Cumming) himself, who is intent on retrieving his property. The cast of SON OF THE MASK also includes Traylor Howard, Steven Wright and Ben Stein.

New Line Home Entertainment has made SON OF THE MASK available on DVD in a 1.85:1 widescreen presentation that has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays. Not surprisingly, this New Line DVD is terrific looking; too bad the movie isnít as good as this marvelous presentation. Image sharpness and detail are super, plus the picture boasts wonderfully fresh and vibrant colors, without a hint of noise or smearing. Blacks are pure, whites are crisp and the contrast is very smooth. Shadow detail is also pretty great. The film elements used for the transfer appear virtually pristine and grain is never readily apparent. Digital compression artifacts are always well concealed.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack is also first rate. The sound mix is fairly aggressive, with the outlying channels giving ones sound system an invigorating workout. Sure it gets a bit overblown at times, but on a whole one canít fault the sound design for what the film lacks in substance. Fidelity is top draw all the way, with the music having genuine depth and the sound effects being appropriately realistic, cartoony or just plain loud. Dialogue is crisp and easy to understand, but there are moments when some will wish it werenít. The bass channel is fairly potent and serves the material well. A 2.0 stereo surround soundtrack is also provided for anyone who doesnít have higher end audio playback. Subtitles are provided in English and Spanish.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a nice body of supplements. Director Larry Guterman, actor Jamie Kennedy and writer Lance Khazei supply a running audio commentary for SON OF THE MASK. Next are the featurettes running roughly fifteen minutes each: Paw Prints And Baby Steps: On The Set Of Son Of The Mask, which focuses on the difficulties of working with dogs and children. Creating The Son Of The Mask: Digital Diapers And Dog Bytes, which looks at the effects work and Chow Bella - Hollywood's Pampered Pooches, which takes dog lovers to the extreme. Fifteen deleted and alternate scenes (with optional director's commentary), plus three art galleries and two storyboard sequences close out the main body of the supplemental materials.

While not truly terrible, SON OF THE MASK is something you may want to rent out of curiosity for a couple of bucks, or pick up when it shows in the Wal-Mart discount bin. The quality of the DVD is first rate, which is exactly what one should expect from New Line. I just wish the movie were as good as the DVD.



Son of the Mask (2005)



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2005 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



Add to My Yahoo!  Add to Google  RSS Feed & Share Links